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Politics Public Policy Today




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Iraq 21, Afghanistan 11, Us 11, Hagel 7, U.s. 6, Isis 5, Dempsey 5, United States 4, Syria 4, Collins 3, Pakistan 3, Nigeria 3, Iran 3, The Navy 2, Navy 2, Aleppo 2, Pentagon 2, Graham 2, Baghdad 2, Mali 2,
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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today  

    June 18, 2014
    6:00 - 7:01pm EDT  

all, we have a request from the iraqi government for air com. >> we do? do you think it's in our national security interest to honor that request? >> it is in our national security interest to counter isil wherever we counter them. >> fair statement. i want the american people to understand. there's a lot at stake for us, right, secretary hagel? >> there's a lot at stake for us, the region, consequences. >> if iraq falls and iran dominates the south, and this group owns the sunni territory all the way from aleppo to baghdad, occurred stkurdistan b that would affect us here at home, is that a fair outcome? >> i don't know what the outcome would be if that occurred. all i can tell you is what we're looking at -- >> well, the economy of iraq would collapse? >> well, i think that's right, if they lose their oil.
>> that's right. and if isis has assets from aleppo to baghdad, they're enriched, the country that we know as iraq, financially collapses, don't you think that would affect the region and energy crisis, from the average american point of view, iraq matters. >> it does, and also, you know, you've been there many times, senator. the southern part of iraq possesses a tremendous amount of o oil, so different scenarios -- >> the iranians operate the southern part of iraq. we'll get hit in the wallet. but isis they're about to attack the united states, is that correct? >> although a regional threat, they do have aspirations to attack western interests. >> if they have a safe haven in syria or iraq, that's a bad
scenario for us, is that true? >> that is a high risk scenario. >> yeah, to our homeland being attacked by this group. >> over time, not at this time, but over time. >> i would say that the -- baghdaddy, the director, the head of this group was a former gitmo -- a camp bucca detainny, is that correct? >> correct. >> i know the colonel, people did a very good job on the ground. he's reported that when they turned baghdaddy back over, when they let him out of camp bucca, he travelled to baghdad with them and turned to colonel collins and others and said, i will see you in new york, does that -- >> i hadn't heard that. >> i'm just telling the american people, it is in our national security interest not to give these guys safe haven in syria or eye ago. is that an overstatement or in the area of possibility? >> as i've said in other settings, there are several
groups. the al qaeda ideology has spread as we've seen, several of the groups are more dangerous than other others -- >> would you put this at the top? >> i would keep them in yemen and that peninsula. >> they're a direct threat to the homeland. >> if he's assessing that it's there now, i would agree. >> that makes sense to you? >> it makes sense they will be a threat to the homeland in time. >> perfect. iran is on the ground, secretary hagel, in iraq? >> iran has been in iraq for many years. >> right, so the reality is, iran is on the ground. do they have interests on shiite
militia? >> i'm sure they do. >> are you worried about another benghazi on steroids, if we don't watch it? >> it's a bigger force, bigger threat, bigger dynamics. it's a huge. >> when it comes to whether or not we communicate with iran, i'm not suggesting we divide up iraq, and say, you get a nuclear weapon if you help me. i know the strategic differences, they want to own iraq, we want to free iraq. is it fair to say the reality that exists today talking to iran about security issues on the ground probably makes some sense? >> i agree, and you know there have been some sideline conversations. >> and if we start flying airplanes, it makes sense to tack to the iranians about what we're doing, so they don't shoot us down and we don't bomb them. >> they're there. >> they're up to no good, but i don't want to cede iraq to iran, but i don't want to blunder into the situation without thinking this thing through, and for god
sakes, i'll talk to anybody to help our people from being captured or killed. this is a time where the iranians in a small way might help, given their behavior, i know exactly who they are. they are not repentant people at all, they are thugs and killers. we are where we are. afghanistan. on a scale of 1 to 10, if we pull all of our troops out at the end of 2016, what's the likelihood of what happened in iraq visiting afghanistan? >> i think based on the reports i received, i would have to make an assumption about this government. i'll do it in lower thirds, unlikely. >> the iraqi -- and i'm going to take two minutes, what percentage of the afghan security forces are made up of southern bastoons. >> i don't have it committed to
memory? >> it's less than 6 to 7%. the afghan army is seen as an occupier in khandahar. that's just a reality. i think the likelihood of this happening in afghanistan is at 8 to 10. would you recommend, if i'm wrong and you're right. would you think the most prudent discussion would be, don't let it happen, even if it's one in three? do you think we should revisit leaving a residual force behind because the afghans will accept it. >> i think there is already built in a residual force. the question is, at what size. >> we're down to embassy force. there is no residual force. >> well, with the office of security cooperation. >> yeah, a couple hundred people. >> would you recommend the president reconsider his decision to go down to a couple hundred people in 2016. wouldn't the prudent thing to do to be to say yes? >> what i will commit to is
assuring you that as we watch this new government form and the situation evolve, i will make appropriate recommendations to the president. >> pakistan is a neighbor to afghanistan, right? >> right. >> do you worry if afghanistan falls apart like iraq, one of the collateral damages could be destabilizing even further? >> i do. >> so given that possibility, why in the world -- they want us to save the afghans. the two new candidates for president would sign bilateral agreements for troops, is that correct? >> they have said they would -- >> they have told me they would accept troops. you need to ask them. if you don't know that, that's very disheartening, i've asked them both. this guy on the ship, is he being held under the law of war? are we doing lawful interrogation of this man? >> khatallah is under the control of the department of justice. >> is he being questioned for intelligence gathering?
>> i'd prefer to answer that in a classified setting. >> thank you all for your service. >> senator feinstein? >> mr. chairman, what is your asizement of size of isis, i spoke to the iraqi ambassador yesterday afternoon, and his estimate is about 20,000. 10,000 being isil, the 10,000 being very sunni extremists and tribal members, plus what he called passport fighters coming into the area. what do you assess the size and how far are they from baghdad at this time. >> well, without getting into classified matters, i'll tell you that if you think about
isil, they are located in three places, eastern syria. they have a wing operating in ramadi, and a wing operating in iraq. i think the estimate is pretty high. the only place i've seen it is in classified settings, i wouldn't want to say it here. isil is almost undistinguishable right now from the other groups you mentioned. in other words, in this caldron of northern iraq, you have former bathists, you have groups that have been disenfranchised and angry with the government in baghdad for some time. and as isil has come, they've partnered -- i suspect it's a partnership of convenience, and there's probably an opportunity to separate them. that's why the number is a little hard to pin down.
>> and they're disbursed and it's difficult to establish a target. i understand that. you have two things here, the military strategy, that you just said iraq asked for air power. would you recommend that? >> well, what i would recommend, any time we use u.s. military force, we use it for those things that are in our national interest. once i'm assured we can use it responsibly and effectively, as we've been working to provide options to the president, that's the standard, and as i mentioned, these forces are very much intermingled. it's not as easy as looking at an iphone video of a convoy and then immediately striking it. i'll give you one vignette to demonstrate that. i had a conversation with a kurdish colleague from years past, who was explaining to me that they had taken over an
iraqi army -- i'm sorry, that isil had taken over an iraqi army base in moos you will. in the course of about 36 hours, we had iraqi army units, we had isil, and then we had the peshmerga in the same facility. until we can clarify this intelligence picture. the options will continue to be built and developed and refined, and the intelligence picture made more accurate, and then the president can make a decision. >> you're known as a very thoughtful person. i appreciate that. it seems to me you ought to have the military response and political response. a lot of us are convinced that the maliki government has got to go if you want any reconciliation. if you want a sunni/shiite war, that's where we're going in my
view right now. if you want partition, that's where we're going right now. if you want reconciliation, what do you do? and it seems to me that maliki has to be convinced that it is in the greater interest of his country to retire. and to -- for this newly elected government to put together a new governme government. what is the administration thinking or your thinking on that subject as much as you can discuss? because that's the one place where iran can be of help if they want to? >> i'm not trying to toss it to my wing man here, but i can't answer it. >> wing man, you're up.
>> it's a high honor to be general dempsey's wing man. a couple things, first, let's start with formation of the new government. the courts in iraq this week certified the election in late april. that is now put on the path to formation, new government. i happen to believe, and i think the president has said it, that a political solution is the only viable solution. i said before you came, in senator, in response to one of the questions, that one of the reasons i believe that iraq is in this situation is that the current government never fulfilled the commitments it made to bring together a unity power sharing government with the sunnis, shyite and the kurds. i think that's generally accepted. what do we do about it now? the state department has the lead onnal of this, as you know,
and as general dempsey said, our ambassador has been in daily touch with the prime minister and the leaders, the political leaders. as well as secretary kerry has been involved and the president has, they are pursuing that political process. at the same time, we are providing the president with different options from our perspective, the intelligence community is trying to inform all of this to the president to assess what we've got. and where this may be going. i think general dempsey's point about, we're still clarifying what we have, and what the situation is, options like air strikes, as the president said, he's not ruled in or out. there has to be a reason for those. there has to be an objective, where do you go with those, what does it do to move the effort down the road for a political solution. the issue of whether maliki
should step aside or not, that's an iraqi political decision. and that's something that many we don't get into. but all these channels are being worked right now, and have been the last week. >> good. well, let me ask a military question then. according to the special ig on iraq, we have spent 25 billion to train and equip iraqi security forces from the start of the war in 2003 until september 2012. in your estimation, why did the iraqi forces perform so badly? >> they didn't universally perform bad, they performed badly in the north, where isil had gained a foothold and convinced some of the sunni
elements -- >> that wasn't just a few of them, it was tens of thousands. >> i understand that, but if isil -- isil turned their leaders, and in the absence of leaders of a military formation, the soldiers are not going to stick around and wait to see what happens. isil was able to co opt some of the leaders of those two divisions. i will tell you, when i was building the iraqi forces from 2005 to 2007, several things were clear to me. we could train them to fight, equip them to fight, it would be harder to give them the logistics architectures and signal architectures, but we did. the hardest thing of all, as i said then and as i say now is to build leaders and have those leaders supported by a central government that is working on behalf of all the people. that's why those units in the north collapses. to your question about -- there are still many of the iraqi
security forces multiconfessional who are standing and fighting. but the entire enterprise is at risk, as long as this political situation is in such flux 37. afghanistan is a much different place. i think based on this recent election, there are, of course -- i do have concerned about the future of afghanistan. and we will continue to do what we can to build into them the kind of resilience that we can build into a security force. but at the end of the day, a security force is only as good as the instrument that wields it, and that's the central government. >> i really appreciate that, i mean, one of the things that i have looked at on intelligence is the taliban there. and the shadow government there. and the amount of land controlled by the taliban, where
people live. and i think it sets up a very serious situation for the fut e future. i'm particularly worried about them coming back and what this does for women and the sharia law. i watched women huddled in a corner in the newspaper sitting in line or standing in line to vote. i thought, if the taliban comes back, it's just terrible. 11 years and we're right where we started in the beginning. could you comment on -- i went to north korea, and you see our troops still there decades later, you begin to understand -- it's a different situation, you begin to understand what it takes. i don't know -- senator graham
mentioned, well, would you be for another secure agreement where you could send in troops? but i really worry about the sophistication of the afghani army. could you comment on that? will they stand? do they have the leadership? do they have the will? >> i will tell you this, the afghans are better fighters, more -- far more tenacious fighters than their iraqi counterparts. that is both reason for optimism and concern. there is a history of them fighting each other, as well as external threats. to your question of will, they do have will while they remain optimistic for their future. as you know, afghanistan today, the country is a far different country than it was in 2002 in
terms of women's rights, connectivity, education, access to health care. if those continue to progress, afghanistan will stay on a path. there will be parts of afghanistan from time to time do separate themselves from the central government, and the question then becomes, what will the government do to stop them. i would caution us to compare them and assume afghanistan will follow the path of iraq. far different. >> thank you. >> mr. secretary, welcome, it has been nine weeks since nearly 300 girls were kidnapped from their school by the terrorist group in nigeria. i believe that the united states should have provided immediate
surveillance reconnaissance and intelligence assets to locate these girls before they were split up into more difficult to find smaller groups. i further believe that contingency plans should have been made so that our special forces who perform so extraordinarily well as we saw during this past weekend with their capture of the terrorists who let the benghazi attack could should have been on the groundworking with nigerian forces to plan a rescue of these girls. mr. secretary with each passing day, the future of these girls grows more and more precarious. there's no doubt that some of them have already been forced
into early marriages. others have been taken across the border and sold into slavery. all have been required to convert to islam, according to the video that we've all seen. yet it feels like these girls have been forgotten, pushed off the front pages, by a string of end less crises. i've made my concerns known to the administration in several venues about my disappointment that we did not act sooner and more aggressively to help rescue these girls working with the nigerians. could you tell me, my question for you is, is this an urgent priority? what is going on now?
>> senator, i can assure you, this president feels exactly the same as you do, as we all do, as you have framed it up and laid out the tragedy of this, the urgency of this. let me address your questions about why wasn't there more action quicker and so on. first, as you know, we cannot just drop into a sovereign country without that country's government asking us for assistance. that country, nigeria has an elected government, elected president. we were preparing, once we heard and knew what was going on, also working with them diplomatically, to get a request from them for each of the resources that we were able to provide and still are providing.
that's one. second, the capability of the nigerian forces to be able to carry out what we can give them in the way of intelligence or assistance is still their responsibility. they have limited capabilities fp that's reality. we are as focused today on helping locate these girls doing everything we can do get them out of there, but this is a sovereign nation, and we require like any other situation the government to ask us to come in, they give us the limits and parameters on where we can operate, how we can operate. the other part of this too, as you know, this is about -- terrainwise, as complicated a part of the world as there is. they have triple, quadruple canopy jungles, they move them
around, your deadly smart guys, we're up against that as well. so unless the chairman would like to add anything to this, that would be my general assessment. make no mistake, senator, this president and all of us are as committed to this even though you don't read it in the front pages because of the reason you mentioned, we're still involved and we're still assisting. >> well, time is ticking away, and with each passing day, the chances of these girls being reunited with their families grows ever dimmer. the fact is the nigerians have said yes, i realize they didn't say yes immediately. it seems to me we should have had a plan so that when they said yes we could swoop right in. >> we did, as much as they would led us do. if you want to get down to the details of the operation -- >> ien watt to assure you, we didn't wait for the nigerians to
ask or respond to our question. . the military began repositioning resources when we saw this occurring. but i do -- two things, i want to bring us back to this budget hearing. we are where we are around the world today because we can be, and we can respond. it may not have been adequate to this task, but we are certainly adequate to a lot of tasks, and that capability is eroding while we sit here. >> let me switch to another issue, but let me first just say that i specially asked whether there was contingency planning for special forces to go in, and was told there was not. so i'm glad to hear you contradict that, but that is not the answer that -- >> let me distinguish between moving assets, in that we are given permission to use them. and also, senator, the operation, though it may have
looked rather routine, it took us months of preparation and intelligence -- >> that's exactly my point. from day one, i think we should have been working on this. and i know how meticulous and difficult an operation that our special forces are involved in is. that's sort of my frustration. let me turn to the issue that you mentioned, and that is, the budget constraints and the impact of sequestration. it is surely significant that one of the first actions that the president took in response to the crisis in iraq was to send an aircraft carrier to the persian gulf. it is our navy that allows us to project power. and i am very concerned business secretary hagel's written
testimony in which he notes the indiscriminate budget cuts of sequestration would result in the loss of a deployable aircraft carrier, delay the procurement of a submarine and slash the surface fleet by ten ships. and i would know that our goal of now 303 ship navy is not near what the combatant commanders say we need. and i see you're nodding in agreement. secretary of the navy has testified before us earlier this year that sequestration may also result in breaking the multiyear contracts for ships, which has the effect of raising the costs of the ships and giving us fewer ships.
it's particularly troubling for our national security strategy, because all the ten ships in the contract through 2017 and the ten ships of the virginia class submarine program are clearly essential. general, do you agree with secretary mavis' assessment that we will not be able to meet our national security requirements, and that we will end up paying more per ship and thus getting fewer ships if we do not deal with sequestration? >> i do, and the same problem exists in the other services as well. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thanks, senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary john dempsey, thank you all for being here. i'm extremely concerned by the recent developments in iraq. the islamic state in iraq and
syria have captured large amounts of money and weapons from the large territory in iraq and syria, they're active and they're reportedly committing human rights violations, and as we know, their presence is potentially destabilizing to our partners in the middle east, and they threaten the united states and our interests. i know that the president has said he's considering a wide range of options in response, i'm glad he's not talking about putting direct combat troops on the ground. what i wanted to ask you today, are iraqi security forces incapable of pushing the insurgents back? >> i have a little time under my belt with the iraqi security forces. one of the things we have to learn and we're working to learn it, but we don't know yet is what's left. what is left of the iraqi security forces. they seem to be holding a line that roughly runs from bacava north of baghdad over to if
falluj fallujah. we know there's been some augmentation of the iraqi security forces by militia. among the options we're considering is whether we would in fact try to do an assessment of what's actually defending baghdad at this point. that's an important question. >> so it's impossible to ask what assistance they would need until you do that assessment? >> i mean, there's some things we know for a fact, where they will require assistance. we've maneuvered a i great deal of manned and unmanned isr to gain quality on what is current. there's some things we need to know about the fabric of what's left of the iraqi security forces. >> okay. secretary hagel, i wanted to ask you, you talked at length about the services. we're going to have to make significant cuts in personnel. i'm terribly concerned, that's
why we made the transition program mandatory, and have made some reforms to help service mentions transition and find employment. i want to ask you how you have worked with counterparts at other agencies to prepare for those who are going to be needing that assistance. >> it's a very high priority. as i said before, we create the veteran, and then we hand the veteran off. the programs that you mentioned, that the congress initiated and funded, continue to fund are critically important for us, as we help shape and prepare these men and women who will leave the services and this goes into every dimension of their future, whether it's health care, retirement, job preparation. job opportunities. it becomes, will continue to be an important part of our responsibilities as there is
from the time they enter service, the commitment we make to them, all the way through. so i'm committed personally, the general is, all our chiefs are, the entire establishment to do that. >> it's absolutely important that we stay focused on that. >> we will, and second your question, are we working closely with the interagencies? absolutely. on monday, i had another conversation with the acting secretary of veterans affairs who i just incidentally have known a long time. and we have a good relationship. we're meeting again next week, that's one example. but all the agencies -- because we've got to bring value added to all the resources, and how we're doing this -- >> it's been a considerable amount of money spent to train these people, we need to make sure we use their skills when they leave. >> yes. >> i wanted to ask you about the special victims council, i'm pleased the department worked quickly to implement a provision
i authored. the number of cases that they are getting shows how important that service really is. but i am concerned that we may need more attorneys to meet the need. i wanted to ask you, how many additional svc's and how much funding to the services need to keep up with the victims of military sexual assault? >> let me ask our comptroller if he has any specific numbers? i don't know, i'll take it for the record on the specific numbers and money. >> if you could get that information back to me, and also, the breakdown on the special victims council's programs including the $25 million i requested. if you could respond back to me on that i'd appreciate it. >> we will, we'll get back to you very quickly. >> finally, secretary hagel, you know the disability system has been a concern of mine for a very long time. we saw a major problem in my home state with service members,
mental health diagnosis being inappropriately changed and there have been many, many more problems. i am continuing to hear from service members who are stuck in the system for a very long time. they're not getting support from the department, and getting incorrect evaluations, so ien watt to know, what lessons have you learned from the implementation. and what reforms are you now considering? >> first as you know, we've had a team out -- the regional va centers in your state helping them, and assisting them as we integrate this. on the specific question regarding us, dod, i'm not satisfied with where we are, i just had a meeting in my office, i think friday about this specific thing. and by the way, it wasn't just to prepare for the hearing. i asked them specifically, they're going to get back to me by the end of this week, i'll give you a detailed response to your question. i said, i need to know, you give
me a list, what you want me to do, secretary of defense, to breakthrough what you think you're not getting done because of bureaucracy. do we need more help, do we need more people, more money, more technology? >> what did they tell you? >> they'll be back to me with a report by the end of this week, i'll share it with you. >> i'd like to see this, we've been talking about this forever, it continues to be a problem, we can't keep letting this slide. >> i'll be back and share it all with you. >> thank you very much. >> i have the same concern. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. >> mr. secretary, back to budget issues for a minute. many of the recommendations by the administration in the new budget relate to the pay and benefits of those serving in the military and retirees. did you do or did the administration do a survey of men and women in the military, and retirees to determine what
they consider to be the most valuable benefits? currently receiving and those of lowest value? >> let me ask our comptroller for the specific answer here, let me start with the general answer. first the presentation that we made as i say in my written statement in more detail, in the budget was based on considerable analysis for all our chiefs. the chairman will want to say something about this i'm sure. all the information we could gather, we asked the chiefs, the services the same question you just asked me, you come back to me and tell me what you think we need to do. one of the first things i did when i got over there a year and a half ago. we went through the whole series of what do they need, what do we need to get prepared for, that was a question. all the chiefs understand it
better than anyone. senator graham said, 50% of our budget goes to these kinds of issues, that continues to escalate. we know we're on a track we can't sustain. it's like entitlement programs. >> i understand the premise. i was trying to understand the formulation of your response. >> let me ask the chairman from how we got from services to answer your question. >> let me assure you we did. we spent a year on this, with monthly meetings with the jcs and in the interim, we looked at both direct and indirect compensation. so pay and benefits on the one side, commissaries, px's on the other. >> and we put together. believe me it wasn't. i had no role in it, we put together a computer program, you could take servicemen and women at a particular grade and so the effect on various changes on paying compensation and health care benefits direct and
indirect with ex-exquisite precisi precision. we could tell what effect we would have at six years or 22 years. we have all of that data. when we had all of that data, we decided what we would need to do to account for the budget reductions, also, to bring our costs over time under control. and then we came up with this package. >> first, a recommendation to you, tell you where you can save some money, to the benefit of all the military and their families. put an end to the subsidies, they are overcharging these families and the military, twice the tuition of schools like the university of maryland which for decades has offered great courses to the military. these for profit schools calling themselves names like the american military universities
are ripping off the government and servicemen and women about so if you want to start saving, i suggest we need stricter policies in how they solicit the members of the military to sign up for what turns out in many cases to be worthless. second question, what is the smoking policy in the pentagon? >> well, we don't smoke in the pentagon. >> let me ask you a second question. do you sell tobacco products in the pentagon? >> we do in the bog, in our -- by the way, the -- let me see if i can jump ahead, yeah, we have a -- you've been there, you know, we have different stores down in the basement, retail stores. but let me jump ahead here to the -- i think maybe where you're going to the bigger issue here, i ordered a review of all our tobacco. this is part of our health bases initiative, all of our tobacco sales everywhere, throughout the enterprise. the navy already has in place, as you know, they don't sell to px's, commissaries, they don't
allow smoking on submarines, they're looking at not even smoking on ships. i've asked for a complete review, it will be back to me in the next couple months, on recommendations and services on this specific policy. >> let me suggest, it's been reported that we spend $1.6 billion a year on medical care of service members from tobacco related disease and loss of work. 1.6 billion. >> that's correct. >> we should also note that the rate of smoking among the military is 20% higher than the average american population, the rate of use of smokeless tobacco more than 400% higher than the average population. one out of three members of the military, who used tobacco today say they started after they enlisted. why? well, we make it easy. and we make it easy because for some reason, the department of defense decided to put in a
discount for tobacco. not only when you buy it, you get breaks in terms of local taxes and state taxes not collected on the tobacco product, there's a 25% discount. it may be the best bargain that military sells to its men and women in uniform, tobacco. good god. at this point in our history, how can this be a fact? i'm glad you're doing this i hope you hurry it along. >> we will. the chairman may want to respond. >> i want to make sure the joint chiefs want to have a voice in this decision. we've asked a lot of our men and women in uniform, we lead an uncommon life by choice, but all the things you're talking about are legal and they are accessible. anything that makes anything more convenient and less expensive for our men and women in uniform, i have concerns
about. i'm open minded to the review, but i want you to understand the chiefs will need to have a voice on this because of the effect on the force. >> i think that's valid. can you start your review with the following premise. tobacco is the only product legally sold in america today which if used according to manufacturer's directions will kill you? >> i accept that, my father died of cancer and i'm a cancer survivor, not from tobacco, but it is legal, and that's -- that is an issue for the broader congress of the united states, not uniquely for the united states military. >> i understand that but if it's legal, i guess someone could rationalize we should allow you to smoke right here, we decided not to, the pentagon decided not to. we're trying to set an example, and i think our men and women in uniform, if they have healthier and longer lives will be a good example of a policy we should follow. senator collins? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i want to associate myself
with your comments about giving a discount for buying tobacco products at our commissaries or px's or wherever, i think that's something that needs to go. general dempsey, many experts have said that had we left a residual force in iraq, a nato force of which american trooped would have been a part, that isis would not have been able to make the gains that it made, nor would it have attempted to make those gains. do you agree with that? >> well, as you recall, senator, we actually recommended -- our military advice was that we needs to remain partnered with the iraqi security forces longer, and that -- so i stand by that recommendation. and i was part of it years ago.
the size of it was being negotiated. i was of the mind we needed to partner with them for some period of time. our partnership was on the basis of increasing their tactical capability, their ability to budget, to be a responsible institution of government. the problem today is that the government has not acted responsibly in iraq, and i don't know that the presence of u.s. military personnel uniquely would have changed the outcome. >> but you stand by your initial recommendation that there should have been a residual course. and obviously the reason you thought that must have been because you felt it was necessary to help continue to train and equip the iraqi forces, and to ensure stability? >> i do. and to develop their leaders to be -- to understand what it means to lead in a democracy.
but also recall, that i also said, in the absence of a status of forces agreement, i wouldn't personally want to send america's sons and daughter the to iraq, and we didn't get a status of forces agreement. >> general, the cornerstone of this administration's counter terrorism strategy has been according to the president's speech at west point to rely more helply on other countries, including the proposal of the $5 billion counter terrorism partnership fund to train, build capacity and facility partner country's front line counter terrorism efforts, including in libya, mali, somalia, and syria. and yet as we see in those countries, both pakistan and now iraq the countries that have received u.s. assistance have a very mixed record of performance
in protecting u.s. counter terrorism interests. what's so disturbing about what's happening in iraq, not only does it pose a huge threat to that country and the region, it poses a huge threat to our country. we provided $15 billion, i don't need to tell you, i'm well aware of your role in training and aid to the iraqi forces. and then when i saw so many of them cut and run against isis, it's just appalling and very disappointing. so what gives you confidence that this new approach, this new $5 billion counter terrorism parter inship fund will driver defeat to extremists who are out to harm us? >> the issue of violent
extremist organizations, most of whom are inspired by radical religion is going to be with us for another 25 to 30 years. it's a generation plus problem. and, therefore, the new approach to try to rebalance how much do we do ourselves, because the challenges we see as they've migrated across from pakistan and now extend across the arab world, mideast, north africa and into western afterry car, we've got to find a way to address them regionally, and when you start to think regionally, you could either come to the conclusion that we should do it all ourselves, or find partners and capable allies as we have with the french in mali, for example, and work collaboratively to do that, that's what this fund is all about. and the companion piece for the european initiative as well, to counter what we see as a changing security environment in
europe. i don't think we have any choice, frankly, but to find and -- well, in some cases, find more capable partners and in other cases build more capable partners, the thought of doing this all ourselves is a difficult one to grasp. >> secretary hagel, you recently said that you were opposed to the creation of a commission to study what the balance should be between the national guard and the active duty troops. i know it's a very difficult task to -- in this time of excessive budget constraints to figure out what the right mix should be, but the fact is, that the national guard is far less expensive when you look at the costs per soldier or airmen, then is someone who's in the
active duty troops. i'm wondering why a commission wouldn't be a good idea, and i also want to convey to you that it's >> for r for a very unhappy about the decisions that have been made to cut the national card. it made tin may, the national gs slated to be reduced to the lowest number ever in itsd history. that is a great concern. as your national guard plays two roles, it can be act vaivated a deployed. but it also plays a central role
do mesically in responding to natural disasters or a terrorist attack that may occur on our soil. so could you talk a little bit to help me understand why you don't think a kmigsz woucom would be a good idea to review this controversial issue. >> senator, first, as i said in my written statement, the national guard and reserves are, have been and will remain a central part of our national security strategy. that's not an issue. a couple of the specific points and then i'll get last point to the question, commissioner: as i've also said here today, about the realities of our abrupt and steep, unprecedented, quite frankly, budget cuts. that's the reality that we have. and then you know, as you've spoken just a few minutes ago about sequestration because the
law of the land 2016, unless that's changed. so that's the reality of the financial landscape, fiscally, in what we have to deal with. when you look at the cuts of what we're proposing versus active duty. and, again, i remind you, we're talking about a 13% cut in active duty and a 5% cut in national guard. as we try to balance our budget, as we try to balance the equality of what we're going to need to carry out the national security interests of this country, it is -- was -- i believe still is, the strong concurrence of all of our chiefs who i rely on an awful lot in the combatant commanders and the people down on the ground who know it best who actually have today-to-day implement these strategies through tactics. they agree everybody's got to take some percentage of
reduction here. if i had a different kind of budget, i probably wouldn't make those recommendations based on what if chiefs have come back. second, the lower cost issue, active versus national guard, i am going to ask the chairman to respond to that. it depends. it isn't an easy metric that the reserve or national guard are achieving. so it's not quite as simple. commissioner, here's the feeling after i've consulted with the chiefs and the people i rely on for advice and then they came to me with recommendations. we believe we know what we need to do right now. a commission o prolongs decisions, i do think reside
within the leadership responsibleties of your military. now, i think if we start micromanaging our military, the people whose lives are dedicated to national security, they come before the congress, as they must. they're responsible to me and to the present civilians, as our constitution requires. but when we start second-guessing them too far down the line, i think that's not smart. and i think its's dangerous. so i don't think we need a commission for those reasons and others. we know what we need to do. a commission will prolong this another -- well, you know about commissions. and i don't think we need one. we know what we need to do. there's some hard choices, as i've said. and this is one of them. let me -- if it's okay -- ask the chairman to respond, maybe, the difference in the costs? >> yeah, thanks, senator.
thanks, secretary senator. i agree, by the way, whether we need a commission. i think the army has done a remarkable job. and i used to be the chief of staff of the army. and if you would have told me when i was the chief that i would have been able to take these budget cuts and manage them and come up with a plan to provide the army that we think the nation needs, i would have said i don't think we can get there. but they got there. the issue of cost. this body and the other committees that give us our budget, buy readiness. that's what you're buying. you're not buying an active duty soldier or a particular platform or a national guardsman. you're buying readiness. and it depends on how quickly you want it ready. and that's what distichk wingui between the act of the guard and are reserve. how quickly you access them. so as i say that i'm
complimentary of the ashmy marm plan, it's based on what the army needs to have ready to go on a very short notice. and i think that you would agree, we just had this conversation about nigeria, you would agree in the world in which we live, with so much uncertainty, complexity and threats, i think we need more of the force ready right now than at any time in our previous history. where you can, state-on-state issues, you can take a long time to build up readiness and deploy it. so if you're going to pay for a national guardsman to be as ready as an active duty soldier, you're going to pay exactly the same thing. it comes down to how quickly you need to access the capability. when you need it tonight, you pay the same for whether it's an active duty soldier or a guardsman. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. the only comment i would make is the guardsman, the guard member,
goes back to the community and to the civilian life in most circumstances. the active duty member remains on active duty and, thus, is more expensive. to me, it's obvious if they're being a national guard troop is being deployed, it is going to with trained in the same way and it is going to be as costly. but it's what happens at the end of the deployment that creates the cost difference. >> i agree with that, senator. but if they go back home and i need them and i can't get them, then i'm not doing my job. and don't forget. there is reason for governors to be interested in this because they have state responsibleties, as well. >> right. >> but what the secretary has to balance is the national security interest of our title 10 responsibleties as the first priority. and i think we've done that with
recognizing the other things that guardsman and reservists do in their communities. i think we've done it responsibly. and i'm not sure that a commission would help us identify that. >> thank you. >> may i ask, breechly, a comment? if you take your logic to the extreme, we wouldn't have anybody on active duty. >> no, because, obviously, i mean, that's an absurd -- i was going to commend you for all of your service. you just have totally blown it. >> i just wanted to establish remiss. i'll accept the lack of commendation if you accept the fact that we need a mix. >> no one is suggesting that we don't need a mix. i mean, that is obvious. and i will commend you for your service, nonetheless, and for all the work we did together on d.c.a.a. when i was the charank member on homeland security. thank you. >> that has been a success story. wech we have turned that agency
around. >> you have, indeed. >> and, thus, we end on a positive note. >> just barely. >> thank you for many, many years of great service. you've really done your country proud and we're honored to have you come to this table so often and take on one of the most daunting tasks in the history of the world. the education of a united states senator. secretary hagel, thank you very much. general dempsey, you and the men around wait a minuand women in the best. this meeting of the subcommittee stands adjourned.
thursday on washington journal, discussion of the plilt kal and military options for u.s. and iraq. and we'll take a look at the u.s. economy and the latest news coming out of the federal reserve with new york times senior economics correspondent neil irwin. you can join the conversation by phone, facebook and twitter. also thursday, live